Gender chapter 1


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Communication 385, Chapter 1, CSULA

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Gender chapter 1

  1. 1. Chapter 1:Communication 385
  2. 2. Research on Gender, Comm.,& CultureResearch on gender from range of fields Communication Anthropology Philosophy History Psychology Sociology
  3. 3. Studying Communication,Gender, & CultureLearning about communication, gender, and culture: Enhances appreciation of ways culture influences views
  4. 4. Research on Gender, Comm.,& CultureQuantitative research methods Data that can be quantified and analyzed  Descriptive statistics  Surveys  Experiments
  5. 5. Research on Gender, Comm.,& CultureQualitative research methods/ interpretive methods Understand nature of meaning or experiences  Textual analysis  Ethnography
  6. 6. Research on Gender, Comm.,& CultureCritical research methods Identify and challenge inequities and problems
  7. 7. Learn About Comm., Gender,&Learning about communication, gender, and Culture culture: Enhances appreciation of cultural complexities Enhances insight to your own gender
  8. 8. Learn About Comm., Gender,& CultureLearning about communication, gender, and culture: Strengthens effectiveness as communicator
  9. 9. Gender in a Transitional EraProbably don’t prescribe to grandparents’ idealsLikely are confused about gender issues
  10. 10. Gender in a Transitional EraOn one level Think women and men equalOn another level May hold traditional valuesLive in a transitional era
  11. 11. Differences between Women& MenDifficult to find language to discuss patterns of communication Women and men troublesome  Imply all can be grouped together
  12. 12. Differences betweenWomen & MenEssentializing Tendency to reduce to characteristics assume are essential in every member of category Presume all members of sex alike
  13. 13. Differences betweenWomen & MenEssentializing Obscures range of individual characteristics Book’s generalizations do not imply essentializing
  14. 14. Gender, Culture, &CommunicationSex, gender, sexual orientation, culture, communication interlinked Cannot study one without understanding others
  15. 15. SexSex = designation based on biologyGender = socially constructed and expressed Sex and gender usually go together Can be inconsistent
  16. 16. SexMale or female based on external genitalia and internal sex organsGenitalia and sex markers determined by chromosomes
  17. 17. SexY chromosome determines how fetus develops Females usually have XX Males usually have XY
  18. 18. SexOccasional variation XO XXX, XXY, XYY XY and XX
  19. 19. SexAll have cells with at least one X Males typically have one X  More vulnerable to X-linked recessive conditions
  20. 20. SexSome born with biological characteristics of each sex Traditionally called hermaphrodites Today intersexed preferred  Learn more at:
  21. 21. SexHormones influence development ◦ Fetuses with Y bathed in androgens  Development of male sex organs ◦ Fetuses without Y - fewer androgens  Development of female sex organs
  22. 22. SexFemale fetus may be exposed to excessive progesterone May not develop female genitaliaMale fetus may be deprived of progesterone Male genitalia may not develop
  23. 23. SexInfluence of hormones continues throughout lifetime Males more sensitive to hormonal activityBiology influences how develop but doesn’t determine behavior or personality
  24. 24. GenderGender Neither innate nor necessarily stable Defined by society Expressed by individuals as they interact with others and media
  25. 25. GenderGender changes over timeBorn male or female (sex)Learn to act masculine and/or feminine (gender)
  26. 26. GenderGender identity: Person’s own identification as male or female
  27. 27. GenderGender depends on society’s values, In America  Masculine = strong, successful, rational, emotionally controlled  Feminine = attractive, nurturing, deferential, expressive
  28. 28. GenderFrom infancy, encouraged to learn how to embody gender that society prescribes
  29. 29. GenderGender grows out of cultural ideas that stipulate social meaning and expectationsSociety’s views permeate public and private life See as normal, natural, right
  30. 30. GenderNot passive recipientsMake choices to accept, modify, or reject Views challenged by people who define themselves as trans or gender queer
  31. 31. GenderMeanings of gender also changed by: Personal communication Role models Interactions with friendsReciprocal relationship between communication and cultural views
  32. 32. GenderUphold or remake meanings of masculinity or femininity 1970s – androgyny coined  Androgynous individuals embody qualities considered both feminine and masculine
  33. 33. GenderMeanings of gender can vary across cultures: New Guinea – three genders Arapesh – all feminine Mundugumor – all aggressive Tchambuli – gender reversal
  34. 34. GenderBody ideals for women socially constructed Current Western culture values thinness
  35. 35. Gender• 1950s – fuller-figures preferred• See photos of Marilyn Monroe at: • Some cultures regard heavier women as beautiful
  36. 36. GenderSome cultures view person’s gender as changeableSome Native American groups – more than two genders These individuals esteemed
  37. 37. GenderIn U.S., gender varies across racial-ethnic groups African American women more assertive African American men more communal
  38. 38. GenderSocial meaning of gender varies over time Prior to Industrial Revolution – family and work intertwined Industrial Revolution – division into spheres of work and home  Femininity and masculinity redefined
  39. 39. GenderMeaning changes over time Social context changes and affects sense of identityRelational concept Femininity and masculinity make sense in relation  As meanings of one changes – so do meanings of other
  40. 40. Beyond Sex & GenderCan also define self in terms of: Sexual orientation Transgendered TranssexualSociety assumes connections between these categories
  41. 41. Beyond Sex & GenderSexual orientation Preference for romantic and sexual partners  Heterosexual  Gay  Lesbian  Bisexual
  42. 42. Beyond Sex & GenderOther cultures’ views of sexual orientation challenge U.S. views Sambia in Melanesia Ancient Greece Victorian society
  43. 43. Beyond Sex & GenderChanging views of gender and sex Intersexed individuals  Biological characteristics of male and female
  44. 44. Beyond Sex & Gender ◦ Transgendered individuals  Biological sex inconsistent with identity  Often dress and adopt behaviors of gender with which identify
  45. 45. Beyond Sex & GenderTranssexual individuals Surgery and/or hormonal treatments  Posttransition males to females  Posttransition females to males
  46. 46. Beyond Sex & GenderMTF – Deidre McCloskeyFTM – Thomas Beatie Gave birth to a child
  47. 47. Beyond Sex & GenderCross-dressers/transvestites Enjoy wearing clothing of other sex Varying motivations Majority biological, heterosexual males, attracted to women
  48. 48. Beyond Sex & GenderTransgendered, transsexed, and intersexed people challenge dualities
  49. 49. CultureCulture = structures, institutions, practices that reflect and uphold social orderUpheld by defining certain groups, values, expectations, as good
  50. 50. CultureSurrounded by communication that announces social views of gender Women give up name in marriage Judicial systemWestern culture is patriarchal
  51. 51. CultureMessages that reinforce culture views pervade lives Seldom pause to reflect Take for granted Don’t questionLearning to reflect empowers Increases freedom to choose
  52. 52. CommunicationCommunication is dynamic Continually changes, evolvesProcess No beginnings or endings
  53. 53. Communication is SystemicMore than context affects meaningAll aspects of communication are interlinkedInfluenced by how we feelTime of day, etc. may influence
  54. 54. Communication is SystemicLargest system affecting communication is cultureSocieties’ views of men and women change over timeSystems interact – each part affects all others
  55. 55. Communication is SystemicCommunication has two levels: Content level of meaning  Literal meaning Relationship level of meaning  Tell how to interpret content and how communicators see themselves in relationship
  56. 56. Meanings Created throughInteraction with SymbolsHumans symbol-using creaturesHave to think to figure out what symbol meansSymbols can be ambiguousMore than one meaning
  57. 57. Meanings Created throughInteraction with SymbolsSignificance of communication not in words themselvesCommunicating increases meanings
  58. 58. Meanings Created throughInteraction with SymbolsVerbal and nonverbal behaviors not neutralMeaning arises from interpretation
  59. 59. Meanings Created throughInteraction with SymbolsDifferences in interpretation are sources of misunderstandingCan become more effective: Ask for clarification Check to see how others are interpreting us